Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Kate Greenstreet's First Book Interviews

I'm so glad someone eventually decided to do this, and I was actually fairly said when they were finished. For those of us (and there are many) shopping around our first books, and getting the close but no cigar advice, these are always inspiring. Would many first books have changed significantly if they weren't picked by a judge or from an open reading period? Sure. Are some (maybe most?) poets better when it takes their book longer than some to get taken so it can become a more fruitful collection? I would imagine.

One quote from Tony Tost I've had in my head for awhile: "I just wanted Invisible Bride to be an interesting first book, and to make the kinds of mistakes a first book always makes (which end up being their virtues): tons of sincerity and ambition and hopefulness and recklessness and incompetence. A fecund starting point." I like to think (hope?) someone could say the same for my first manuscript.

Some of them are a bit boring and / or derivative, as if people are afraid to really give truthful answers to the questions. But some are insightful, hilarious, sarcastic, pissed off. My favorites are listed below. Some of the writers I really like. Some I don't like at all. Some I discovered after these interviews (and some of their books I bought just because of them) and continue to like and follow.

4. Tony Tost
5. Brian Teare
13. Victoria Chang
42. Oliver de la Paz
52. Jake Adam York
57. Zachary Schomburg
59. Mary Biddinger
64. Adam Clay
75. G.C. Waldrep
76. Ashley Capps
81. Steve Fellner
83. Joshua Poteat
87. Joshua Kryah